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ER/Studio Data Architect versus erwin Data Modeler

This review examines two major data modeling tools – Idera ER/Studio Data Architect (ER/Studio) and erwin Data Modeler Standard Edition (erwin DM).This review focuses on the support provided to:

  • Produce logical and physical data models.
  • Keep the logical and physical views of data separated.
  • Trace the links between the two models.

We can use both tools in this review stand-alone or with a repository. The repository provides more than just a place to store models. It provides additional useful capabilities, such as version control. Both tools also provide web portals. However, the erwin product is a third party offering not produced by erwin.

The review focuses on using the two tools stand-alone (without the repository). We examine their support for the two data modeling approaches mentioned above. And we make note of any relevant additional features that are available if you use the repository. This is not unrealistic since on the projects where I used erwin DM or ER/Studio in the past, we did not gain access to a repository.

ER/Studio and erwin DM are mature players in the data modeling tools market, focusing on producing logical and physical data models. Both tools feature powerful utilities for reconciling the differences between any two data models. Here, the term data model can include an SQL file, which the tool will use to construct a model for comparison. These utilities provide the essential capabilities necessary for managing the links between data models I explore in this review. Both tools allow you to choose the objects and properties to compare, and which changes to apply to either of the two models (a bi-directional merge). Also, both tools allow you to use subsets of the model to define the scope for comparison.

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